World Class Sushi Experience
I?m new to NY and wanted to try to best sushi it has to offer. Having researched NY sushi joints online, I decided to visit Yasuda or 15 East. As a purist, I considered the former. But, I wanted to support a younger chef, so I opted for the latter. I've had exceptional sushi in Tokyo, LA, Sydney, and Masa and Nobu in NY, so I had high expectations.
My girl and I sat at the bar to get the full culinary experience. We felt as if we had the chef to ourselves. The one odd thing, however, was the music-- a mix of old school pop. I like that music, but it felt out of place.
Chef Shimizu is dedicated, informative, fun, and talented at preparing raw fish. We started with the tai appetizer, which, I must admit, did not meet my expectations. The dipping sauce (ponzu, yuzu, and Japanese spice) was tasty. Perhaps the fish was just sliced too small (in diameter) for my personal taste; and the ice presentation seemed a bit over indulging.
Then came the omakase. All were exceptional, but the highlights were as follows: Golden eye tai: I?d never had this type of snapper; it was fabulous. Mackerel: The chef accepted my challenge of getting me to like mackerel, so he presented a heavily seasoned Aji. Whatever he did to it worked. Salmon: This was a big surprise. This fish has never been my favourite, but this piece was amazing. I don?t know what it was. Sea water eel: I had read that the chef prefers this over Unagi, and I had never tried it. It was definitely unique. otoro: I love the taste of this raw, unseasoned fish. So, you can imagine my surprise when the chef grated salt & pepper on it, searing it with a torch. However, it was great and I will be ordering it again.
The service was is the best I have ever had. I never notice service unless it?s particularly bad, but this was extraordinary. Although I still would love to try Yasuda one day, I am certain that the next time I splurge on dinner, it will be at 15 East.